Rationale and design of a randomized controlled, clinical trial investigating a comprehensive exercise stimulus for improving mobility disability outcomes in persons with multiple sclerosis

Academic Article


  • This randomized controlled trial (RCT) examines the effect of a comprehensive exercise training stimulus on physiological function and mobility disability (i.e., problems walking) in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have walking impairment. This trial will recruit 30 persons with MS across central Illinois who have an Expanded Disability Status Scale score between 4.0 and 6.0, and those persons will be randomized into either the intervention or control arm of the study; the participants will not be blinded regarding group assignment. The intervention will incorporate equal amounts of aerobic, resistance, and balance modes of training delivered 3 times/week with a gradual progression of duration and intensity across a 6-month period. The control will involve stretching along with minimal muscle strengthening stimuli and will be delivered on the same frequency and duration. The primary outcomes will be clinical, kinematic, patient-rated, and physiological measures of mobility disability. The secondary outcomes will be measures of physiological function including aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and balance. This study will lay the foundation for the design of a subsequent Phase II or Phase III RCT by (a) providing effect sizes that can be included in a power analysis for sample size estimation and (b) investigating whether aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and balance are possible factors associated with the beneficial effect of exercise training on walking outcomes. Taken as a whole, the proposed study and our subsequent research agenda has the potential for advancing the management of mobility disability using exercise training in the 2nd stage of MS. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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    Author List

  • Motl RW; Pilutti LA; Sandroff BM; Klaren R; Balantrapu S; McAuley E; Sosnoff JJ; Fernhall B
  • Start Page

  • 151
  • End Page

  • 158
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 1